View Full Version : Laid off
10-13-2001, 11:23 AM
Yep, the sagging economy and the indirect effect of animals flying airplanes into buildings has caught up with me...I was given my walking papers this week.
In a way it's a bit of a relief, as I hated my job immensely and had begun sending out resumes within the past 2 weeks anyway. And I am skilled enough that I am certain of finding a new position soon (my former employer offered to help, too). But it'll still be rough going for a bit.
So if I'm a bit cranky in the weeks to come, please chalk that up to all the resume-ing and Monster Board-ing and interviewing and taking my Good Interview Suit to the dry cleaners-ing and all that.
On the plus side...I haven't come down with anthrax!
10-13-2001, 04:49 PM
I've been there. Former long-term employer used to say, "There's an opening here for everyone." Later, they said "Don't let it hit you in the butt on the way out."
Hang in there, friend, and best of luck to you.
10-14-2001, 01:22 AM
I work in construction,where layoffs can be pretty common.Good luck.
Condolensces, brother. I've had three layoffs so far in my career, and figure on at least a few more before I retire. You do get back on your feet, though, and more often than not, that you were laid off has nothing t'do with you. It's a financial move, either for cost-cutting, or shareholder appeasing, if not both.
It gets better, though, 'specially given you were lookin' t'step already.
Wishin' well for ya from out here in the West,
10-15-2001, 10:47 PM
Business here is booming..our unemployment rate is at 2 %, which is basically hardcore unemployables. If you're able to relocate, you might want to consider this area...even MickeyD's has to offer about $10-15 per hour to get any help....just an idea. Q
10-16-2001, 11:36 AM
While I haven't been laid off, I'm in a small company who has always struggled to keep above water these last 3 years, so I am faced with lay offs from time to time. Hope that all you fine, tickling/-ish people find lucky employers that realize the quality you'd offer. ;-)
10-26-2001, 01:15 PM
Thanks to everyone who has offered words of support during this trying time.
Update so far: I've got an interview lined up for next week, the first call I've gotten so far. A number of positions I've applied for don't close until next week, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed on those too. I'll keep everyone posted on my job-hunting progress.
10-26-2001, 01:43 PM
I actually used to interview for Pepsi-Co....there are certain do's and dont's that CAN increase your odds of getting the job. Not certain if you're interested in them, but that never stops me anyway...lol.
#1--Be prepared. It sounds simple and basic, but it happens constantly. Know SOMETHING about the company you're applying to and the more the better...knowledge is power during an evaluation process.
#2-- Talk....and don't make the answers be "drawn" out of you constantly. Not "chatter", but actual sentences structured to convey info in a fairly direct manner. If you've followed rule #1, you should be ready to speak about 75% of the time with a certain amount of confidence.
#3-- Don't bother bs'ing if you don't have the answer...trust me bub, we KNOW when you're winging it, and it doesn't help, unless you're applying for a creative job in advertising. Some of the questions are designed to be difficult on purpose, just to see what reaction we get...at my company it was alright to "not know" and be upfront about it. We tried to avoid people that were too good at evading that simple phrase: "I really don't know". Obviously if that is the answer to each avenue the interviewer brings up, you haven't followed rule # 1.
#4- Try to be "you".....we interview hundreds of people a month and we know when they are nervous, and we also know when we hit a "professional" who has done nearly as many interviews from that side of the table as we have from our side. A certain amount of nervousness is expected and accounted for, but adopting a brand new "persona" isn't going to be comfortable for you unless you are one of those pros, and it won't hold up for the duration of our chat...we are trained to find out certain things, and you are evading the point if you don't bring "yourself" to the interview.
#5 - Politeness and courtesy as well as appearance DO count. We often went so far as to "plant" someone in the waiting room to test just those 2 traits...it was a fascinating way to get a real glimpse of someones personality. Not overdone, but merely basic common sense things...
Anyway, there's a lot going on in an interview, but if you follow these, you won't shoot yourself in the foot too quickly...good luck!
10-26-2001, 06:35 PM
Thanks Q...any good advice is always a good thing. Much appreciated.
10-26-2001, 10:12 PM
Okay, now I HAVE to know how well you did on the interview(s) after they're over, including the approximate length of the interview (professional curiousity...we had a statistician who said he could predict the job "winner" by a formula using that variable), and your opinion of the guy/gal conducting the interview....lol. Q
10-27-2001, 11:52 AM
Actually, the initial "screening" is a phone interview, so I will have only limited perspective, but I'll let you know how it went. Thanks
10-30-2001, 12:15 AM
I'm a veteran of the job search process - downsized, contract jobs, another real job, downsized again, and lately re-employed. Here's how it goes:
Let's assume that you don't have an "in" with the company. You respond to an online listing. So do about 10,000 others, most of whom aren't even remotely qualified. Companies try to cut down on unqualified applicants by adding more qualifications to the list ("...able to leap tall buildings with a single bound...") but STILL get too many. From where you sit, the longer list serves to obscure what the job really entails and the relative importance of each part.
So your response gets to the HR Department. It's screened by Tiffany, the most junior employee. She sits there, cracking her chewing gum, spending 10 seconds per resume, and 95% of the time she hits the "delete" key.
The surviving 5% go to Josh. He's been with HR for a few years but doesen't have a clue what the hiring manager really needs, because he's never worked anywhere but HR. He'll winnow the responses down some more, and maybe call some that he sees as more promising. See above - I've had calls about jobs that in no way correspond with my professional experience.
Maybe by now your resume will have been passed along to a line manager - maybe 5-10 out of the original 10,000. He's busy too, so he may set up a phone interview. Treat this one like a real interview, because it determines whether you will get invited to see him face to face.
If you're invited to a personal interview, follow Q's advice. Be polite to everyone, ESPECIALLY the receptionist/secretary. You'll be talking with her again when you make your after-interview follow up calls. The interviewer may ask her what she thought of you. Don't piss her off, or she can hurt you.
Best of luck,
10-30-2001, 12:20 AM
My favorite cynic is back! Thought I was going to have to email you or conduct a seance to raise you soon! The job mart is perilous ground indeed...but I'm surprised you've trod the classifieds. Figured you for a safer career path, for some reason...hmm..I'm slipping? Nah, you probably did it just to be contrary...lol. Welcome back to the Monkey House, BTW! Q
10-30-2001, 12:31 AM
including the approximate length of the interview (professional curiousity...we had a statistician who said he could predict the job "winner" by a formula using that variable
Man I love this. I knew the craziest statistians going through school, and this sounds like someone one of them would do ;) In the immmortal words of one of the best philosophers of the modern age:
"Ah, Kent, you can use statistics to prove anything. 55% of all people know that"
- Homer Simpson
I'm interested in seeing that formula too, for curiosity purposes more than anything. My two most recent successful job interviews lasted in the neighborhood of 20-40 minutes. But I've had interviews in the past that lasted literally over 3 hours. We're not talking job interviews anymore, they're more like interrogations. By the time they were through with me, they knew my blood type, the car I drove when I was 16, and how many professional baseball stadiums I've attended.
10-30-2001, 12:44 AM
I last saw this guy about 12 years ago...lol..thank god! He had an impressive list of variables that were "weighted" by some arcane system that took him years to develop. By the time I left though, he was running about 90+% accurate, which of course still displeased him tremendously. He said that the problem lay in the interviewers themselves, and we were preventing him from attaining complete accuracy because of our "randomness". A few of the guys/gals took it personally and began fudging their interviews in both length and depth...just to throw him off. Aaah, the corporate world of backstabbing and buttcovering...how I miss it! (not) Q
10-30-2001, 01:12 AM
Re. "trod the classifieds", sometimes you gotta go with what you've got. I was once hired for a contract job, sight unseen, on the basis of a phone interview.
I'm old enough to remember people saying about desireable employers, "Ya gotta know somebody to get hired at ABC Company", or get into the union so you could get hired, etc. That's networking at its most basic. About 25 years ago, some smart guys ginned up a process to let the rest of us compete on a more equal basis. Everyone who hasn't spent the last 30 years working for the government has seen job-search books like "What Color Is Your Parachute?" When they first came out, the techniques outlined worked great, because the user had the element of surprise on his side. That's not true any more - the opposition is wise to them by now.
The job search is like a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Your quest is to penetrate the Inner Sanctum (hiring manager's office) and carry off the Prize (job). Arrayed against you are Secretaries, Voice Mail, and the HR Department. Your allies are your pastor, your kid's soccer coach, and your brother-in-law. Lately, there have been posts on the Monster.com forum that say that the "Parachute" techniques aren't working anymore. Seems to me that we've come full circle to "Ya gotta know somebody."
Still, there's work out there. It takes more digging than it used to, but the Internet provides more resources to help you dig. It also helps to be lucky.
Good luck pal.
Geez, I've always gone by knowin' someone. Seems I'm always gettin' a gig where I know someone, or they and I know a mutual friend. The older I get, the more friends I know.
'Course, I also get those calls where someone mentions a guy from '93, who worked in or near a company I was at, back then. They want dirt, and quick. Sometimes, those folks are just lookin' for an excuse not to like someone, while other times, they're lookin' for confirmation on somethin' they FEEL but can't PROVE.
What's funniest is that, since '95, I've been multiply pierced and long haired, and was told by friends that it'd prevent me from gettin' a good job. I've never been without such. Gotta love California. Folks here would hire a Sasquatch, if the beast could handle the gig. I view the hair and piercings as "management-draft-defense". The more extreme I get, the less the likelyhood of bein' sucked into some damned annoyin' management role. Since the pay ain't any different, now that I've been at this over a decade, I don't wanna manage. I'd rather back a good manager. Those, mind ya, are rare, hence why I change jobs every few years.
Current gig is good. Good lead above me, good manager above him. Wish the guy above that manager wasn't such a poor specimen. This one ain't gonna last me more than another 2 years, if I'm lucky. Alas. Still, in this location, there's work if you know someone.
10-30-2001, 02:11 PM
The phone interview seemed to go well...lasted about 20 minutes; I fielded the questions pretty well, I think. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
11-01-2001, 07:49 PM
More good news!..I've gotten three more calls for interviews in the last two days. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will be back to complaining about the rush hour traffic before long. Thanks for the support, guys -- I'll keep you posted.
11-01-2001, 08:03 PM
: ) :D :) ;) :rolleyes: :wow: Q
11-02-2001, 12:35 AM
Here's a transcription of today's Dilbert strip:
Catbert, Evil HR Director: "We're almost out of kitty litter. Gather up all the resumes we got this week and run them through the shredder."
Asok the Intern: "Shouldn't we be matching these with our openings?"
Catbert: "That's what we're doing."
11-02-2001, 11:24 AM
Of course, that doesn't apply to ME, because my resume is so friggin' awesome it will catch ANYONE'S attention...:)
In all seriousness, I think the fact that I've gotten this many calls just 3 weeks into the job search means that things will go my way soon.
11-02-2001, 06:40 PM
Another call today! Plus a second interview from the phone interview I mentioned earlier. And that's just three weeks into the job search.
My fears of having to become an organ grinder with a pet monkey are beginning to fade.:)
11-03-2001, 02:30 AM
Outstanding! Glad to hear things are moving in the right direction for you. Hope to hear better news from you real soon.
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